The EKGS Culinary Institute in Accra has since its establishment in 1999 cumulatively trained 6,522 students in diverse culinary skills, the Director of the institute, Efua Otua Goode Obeng Kyei, has said.
According to her, the students were taken through courses that included sugar art, pastry art, cookery art and floral art.
Mrs Kyei said this at the 44th graduation ceremony of the institute at the weekend.
At the event, 100 students, including one male, graduated.
The graduands went through six months of training in culinary skills for the job market and for life.
Mrs Kyei noted that the institute kept attracting students from sister African countries and that the graduands comprised two students from Guinea and Nigeria, and “I believe we might be doing something right in that regard, especially in view of the current economic crises we find ourselves in as a nation and members of the global economy”.
She charged the government to do whatever it could to encourage the indigenous production of baking ingredients for the culinary industry so as to sustain it.
“For instance, we baked a cake with sweet potato flour and it came out in a very lovely way which was so amazing, and I believe the government should support us in this direction.
The current economic crisis all over the world must act as a wakeup call to all, especially the culinary sector to shift from our already pampered “lifestyle” and diet to a much healthy one.
Mrs Kyei said the appetite and way of eating of Ghanaians must change to reduce the demand for highly priced commodities which were usually imported, such as sugar, butter, oil, rice and flour among others.
“Sugar can be replaced with any sweet fruit like banana, pawpaw, etc. in baking and porridges and these are healthier.
“Butter and oil can be replaced with healthier recipes; egg and mashed potato with the main ingredient being butter, which is now four times the price, can be replaced with a slice of avocado.
Rice must be taken in smaller portions while replacing a 50 per cent portion with mashed sweet potato or baked sweet potato, which is far better in fibre, potassium and vitamins,” she said.
Moreover, she said highly priced imported canned and bottled fruit drinks could be home-made to reduce the cost of living, adding that “wheat flour, which is now referred to as “baking cocaine”, can be replaced with a much healthy ingredient, i.e. sweet potato flour”.
“All these will go a long way to reduce the burden on the average person’s pocket and ensure a healthy being as well.
We must take advantage of the problem to create something good out of it,” Mrs Kyei said.
A tourism ambassador, Joseph Amartey, commended the 100 graduands on the successful completion of their programmes.
“This excellent institution has given you the basics, the tools you need to move forward with your career.
The coming times will be exciting and challenging but they depend on you and your determination.
I'm sure many of you have firm plans for what's coming next and have pretty good ideas of what do to next and dream of where you hope to get to, while some of you are just amazed that you got to this graduation point,” he said.